BOOK REVIEWS

Point Guard (Home Team) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-10-02 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings
ISBN:1481410032
LANGUAGE:English

"I'm not going to give this stars, because I'm not the target audience. I just wanted to read a genre that I loved when I was in late grade school and middle school, and because I saw that Lupica is coming to our local bookstore to do a reading.

So let me say this. When I was in seventh grade, I would have LOVED this book!

And I'd have been wrong.

Not only because it's a little condescending, with the kids having to be perfect miniature adults. Not only because the dialogue and the inner narrative sounds like no middle school kid ever. But primarily because the big moral message is kind of a sham.

Gus and Cassie have been "best friends" for years, but Lupica paints Cassie as an enormously unlikable character. What does she do in this book, ever, to make life better for Gus? They play sports together, yeah, that's nice. But really, friends look out for one another, and she never looks out for him. So she makes the boys' 8th grade basketball team, and does a terrific job. But we're never quite sure exactly why Gus has a hard time with it (and none of their other friends have any qualms at all, not even a little bit, also kind of weird for 8th graders). He knows that it's his problem and he gets over it. But she doesn't ever give him a moment of kindness. I think Lupica wanted this to be a story about how we have to get over our biases of all sorts, but really, it comes out as a story about how girls are inscrutable and boys just have to figure out how to deal with it.

Which is a shame, because the premise is pretty good. But he hasn't been generous enough to Cassie to let us see her as worthy of Gus' loyalty.
" said.

" I was disappointed in how political this was. I think the message could have been shared without politics. " said.

"Ugh, I'm just soooooooo not a sports person. And while I know that bias is certainly playing a part in to my feelings for and review of the book, it's not the only factor.

I felt like there was a lot of text that didn't really say anything--particularly in sections of conversation between characters...lots of (repetitive) words that didn't really communicate anything.

While I'm sure kids who are fans of sports, particularly basketball, might enjoy this book, I just feel like there has GOT to be a better-written sports book for kids out there that would even draw ME in...
" said.

"Copy received from the publisher.

After the depress fests that were The Only Game and The Extra Yard, Point Guard is a huge relief. This book centers on Gus, whose family is from the Dominican Republic. His friends think that he should be more interested in baseball, but he's taken a real liking to basketball. The problem? His good friend Cassie, who is a crackerjack player on the girls' team, thinks the boys' team would offer her more of a challenge. Gus is okay with this... so why does it bother him? He has some good reasons-- Cassie beats out Teddy for a spot, and with her on the team, a lot of the focus is taken away from the team and put on the GIRL on the team. Cassie eventually picks up on his attitude, and the two have difficult moments on and off the court. Gus' sister Angela is very level headed about the whole matter and regularly slaps Gus around a bit, and he eventually is able to get himself together for the good of the team and of his friends. Add to the drama the mayor's son, who along with his father thinks that Walton shouldn't have so many immigrants, and you get a timely (but soon to be dated by mentions of Trump) and thought provoking basketball story.
Strengths: I loved that Cassie made the boys' team on her own merit, and that the boys acknowledged that she was really the best athlete at their school. This will rub some of my readers the wrong way, which they deserve! Hard to believe that over 40 years after Title IX we are still fighting this battle. Sigh. Good for Lupica for addressing it. Also, I'm very glad that the mood of this one was lighter. The other two books-- whew. Walton needs some serious counseling in the schools!
Weaknesses: Gus' constant rehashing of his feelings gets old pretty soon. I understand why it's there, but I just wanted to tell him to suck it up, buttercup.
What I really think: An improvement, but I wish that these were less message heavy and a little more fun.
" said.

" Everyone assumes that Gus, whose family is from the Dominican Republic, is a baseball guy. But gus is really more excited about basketball than any other sport he’s ever played. He’s been practicing some new moves and lately gus is more surprised when he misses his shot than when he scores. I recommend this book to anyone that likes funny books or basketball. " said.

"Gus, Teddy, Jack, and Cassie are best of friends. They hang out and play various sports when they are not playing on their respective teams. It is now basketball season. Try-outs for the Walton Warriors boy’s basketball team will include a new player—Cassie. She believes she is good enough to play on the boy’s team. For Cassie, the girls’ sports teams, in particular the basketball team, are not competitive enough. Jack and Teddy are all for Cassie playing on the boy’s team. Gus says he is, but deep down . . . actually, closer to the surface than Gus will admit, he has misgivings about the idea. When Cassie earns a spot on the boys’ team at point guard, Gus needs to find a way to deal with his misgivings, which sometimes look like anger.

Point Guard is about more than basketball. Lupica does put in enough basketball that any fan or player of the game will be happy. The action is fast-paced and perfect for the level of play and the game. Lupica definitely understands youth sports. I love that Lupica chose to put a girl on the boys’ basketball team. I understand Cassie—I was Cassie. Playing on a boys’ team is hard, even when the game comes easily. But this is not Cassie’s story, it is Gus’s story and it is a good, thrilling story that will please both boys and girls. Point Guard is all net—a three-pointer. Swoosh!

Originally reviewed on Kid Lit Reviews. To read full review, go to: http://bit.ly/Lupica-PointGuard
" said.

"Ugh, I'm just soooooooo not a sports person. And while I know that bias is certainly playing a part in to my feelings for and review of the book, it's not the only factor.

I felt like there was a lot of text that didn't really say anything--particularly in sections of conversation between characters...lots of (repetitive) words that didn't really communicate anything.

While I'm sure kids who are fans of sports, particularly basketball, might enjoy this book, I just feel like there has GOT to be a better-written sports book for kids out there that would even draw ME in...
" said.

"Copy received from the publisher.

After the depress fests that were The Only Game and The Extra Yard, Point Guard is a huge relief. This book centers on Gus, whose family is from the Dominican Republic. His friends think that he should be more interested in baseball, but he's taken a real liking to basketball. The problem? His good friend Cassie, who is a crackerjack player on the girls' team, thinks the boys' team would offer her more of a challenge. Gus is okay with this... so why does it bother him? He has some good reasons-- Cassie beats out Teddy for a spot, and with her on the team, a lot of the focus is taken away from the team and put on the GIRL on the team. Cassie eventually picks up on his attitude, and the two have difficult moments on and off the court. Gus' sister Angela is very level headed about the whole matter and regularly slaps Gus around a bit, and he eventually is able to get himself together for the good of the team and of his friends. Add to the drama the mayor's son, who along with his father thinks that Walton shouldn't have so many immigrants, and you get a timely (but soon to be dated by mentions of Trump) and thought provoking basketball story.
Strengths: I loved that Cassie made the boys' team on her own merit, and that the boys acknowledged that she was really the best athlete at their school. This will rub some of my readers the wrong way, which they deserve! Hard to believe that over 40 years after Title IX we are still fighting this battle. Sigh. Good for Lupica for addressing it. Also, I'm very glad that the mood of this one was lighter. The other two books-- whew. Walton needs some serious counseling in the schools!
Weaknesses: Gus' constant rehashing of his feelings gets old pretty soon. I understand why it's there, but I just wanted to tell him to suck it up, buttercup.
What I really think: An improvement, but I wish that these were less message heavy and a little more fun.
" said.

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